Monday, September 22, 2008


We seem to be over reentry. Yesterday 3 out of 4 squid were moody and 2 out of 4 squid were sick. This morning it was 2 out of 4 and 2 out of 4. Now it is just the 2 sick squid (Squidette and me, if you really need to know). We're getting back to normal. Slowly.

As I drove to work this morning, I realized that I had not knit a stitch yesterday. (Which I now realize was wrong -- I did 2 rows on my cobweb lace shawl while doing the laundry.) That aside, I did manage to warp my loom (direct warp, no winding first) and wove a few inches.
I think it will be part of a blanket. There are roughly 8 feet of lace weight merino on it at 10 epi. This stuff fulls very nicely and should make a nice light weight blanket.

Yes, this means that I have pictures working on my computer again -- I'm working under Linux for now and have promised to continue doing so as long as my machine has a windows partition for things like the tax program and Audible (for which there seems to be no Linux solution as of yet). For the last problem, I spent a bit more on my cell phone bill this month and just down loaded my next book directly to the phone. Took about 10 minutes and was actually less hassle then first putting it on the computer.

Now to put on my headset and do some weaving!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

And a Good Time Was Had By All ...

She did great.

I was asked, nay instructed, to provide pictures. The link is the best I can do for now as I am still computerly challenged. The originals are residing on Mike's machine until I 1. learn how to navigate my new Linux partition or 2. get new windows disks. We are waiting for friends and relative to email stuff to us and, of course, for the professional photos.

There were no major mishaps, only minor, easily fixed ones. Like getting two blocks from home and realizing that she was wearing the wrong earrings. As I said, minor and easily fixed.

As far as I can tell, Squidette did not make a single mistake in her torah or haftorah portions and, despite the fact that she was shaking like a leaf while waiting her turn, she looked calm and poised while chanting.

The girls danced in the socks we provided -- cute anklets secured at K Mart -- and despite her fears and worries about not knowing what to do at a party, Squidette had a great time.

We are now in recovery mode and I'm heading down to do the laundry. Back to real life ...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Ironing! (Checked that the smudge on Mike's shirt is covered by tie and that Little Squid's Khaki's are still long enough.)
Matched my outfits with shoes and jewelry! (Wearing same pendant Friday as Squidette is wearing on Saturday. Unless the stuff Mom brings with her Saturday morning looks better.)
Bought backup hair monsters (octopus clips) for Squidette ... just in case.
Painted toenails!!! (Almost forgot this one. Good thing I put a reminder on my phone.)

Oh yeah, also did a run through of the services at synagogue with Rabbis and other family. Chose shoes for Friday based on the fact that I do not want to tower over the other mother. She's tiny.

Also went to work and did work-type stuff, including discovering that at least 20 of the new 8th grade science text books were bound upside down. D'oh! I'll call for exchanges once I finish figuring out how many are duds.

Got a call from a friend offering to take me out to the movies tonight. Really sweet! My to do list, however, was far to long ...

Mike got maintenance to come and fix the shower so we are no longer smelly squid. (O.k., we really weren't too smelly with only one day without showers but you get the idea.

No pictures because I have no computer ... yes, it is truly gone. New hard drive will be ordered soon. Thankfully any important documents created recently are all in google docs. Glad I started migrating over to that. Many pictures are on line in my Picasa album so not all were lost.

In other words ... I'm over my whine. But don't get me started on my auto insurance company ...

Whine ...

They are only minor annoyances, in the general scheme of things, but really! Do they all have to happen at the same time?

First the cold water tap in the bathtub / shower stripped. But it was still usable so we didn't call it in. When I suddenly needed a screwdriver to take my shower, yesterday, we decided that it might have progressed to "pretty important" but still not "get someone in here right now." Then Mike could not turn off the water after his shower and it became "get someone here tonight." And maintenance came. And when they left we had water restored to sink and toilet ... but not shower / tub. Did I mention that we only have one shower / tub?

Then my hard drive totally crashed. It had been giving hints for a week or so but I was in denial and did not back up. Yup. Lost everything and now have a very expensive brick.

Then this morning, while doing a trial "do" on Squidette this morning, the hair monster (clippy thing) that she was going to wear on Saturday, broke. $18 at Lord and Taylor. I'm not happy.

In the grand scheme of things, not horrible. Not even really bad. Just annoying. My cousin in Texas ... she was lucky, relatively minor damage but that's in comparison to what's around her. Now that folks, that's really bad and, for those that lost everything, horrible.

Let's just say that I am in a "mood" and will try to snap out of it. Maybe it's supposed to be this way? Lots of little things go awry now so that things will go smoothly this weekend?

What do you think?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Which One?

Once again, I appeal to my readers to help solve a conundrum. Which necklace should Squidette wear next week?Both have sentimental value. The one on top is mine and depicts a lion and lamb laying together. It was given to me by Mike and was designed by a good friend of ours. The one on the bottom is a locket that my mother-in-law used to wear frequently and carries a huge amount of sentiment for Squidette. That said, we are not sure that either is appropriate and are not sure that we've found the right "look." (The earrings were also her grandmother's but we never saw them worn. After trying on a dozen pair, we finally hit on just the right ones. Poor kid's ears are sore now.)
No, I have not even started figuring out my own jewelery beyond my rings (standard wedding and engagement and for sentiment's sake, my grandmother's) Yes, in the grand scheme of things, this means nothing but since I am not fussing about a party, this gives me something to do.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Looking to Tomorrow

Squidette just tried on her outfits for next week. Friggen kid grew!

Made a quick call to friend whose daughter was Bat Mitzvah'ed at the same synagogue. Her outfits were shorter. Phew!

Still have to knock off some of Saturday's to do list while accomplishing Sunday's list. Did I mention that I am beat? Spent much of Friday patrolling my new school. It exhausted me but it was a nice "did a good day's work" kind of exhaustion.

Just found a CD we've been looking for for several weeks. It was right where it should have been -- but it was the wrong color.

Hoping your To Do list gets shorter and shorter ...

To Do

Honest to goodness, this is the to do list that is currently on my Palm pilot for today. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.) I will strike out the completed items, periodically, as I return home to drop of packages and such. It is almost entirely in preparation for next weekend.

Will it all get done?

Sat. Sept 13

To Do / Get

cake decorating store
back to school shopping - me! only got one outfit
Socks so the girls can shed their heels at the party -- got really funky ones
lip gloss she's growing up ...
water proof mascara yes, I'm a big sap
mousse to hold Squidette's hair in place
books The Great Gatsby in the correct edition for Squidette's English class
pay for bus just have to mail it
thank note
Little Squid haircut
stamps need many more for thank you notes
pay bills
iron Little Squid's shirts and khakis
hem Little Squid's suit pants obnoxious kid slimmed down! Hem is a little awkward because I made it really deep hoping to get a few more wearings out of it.
tell Little Squid not to grow for another 3 weeks - not until after Yom Kippur
CD's for car!!!
yea, like that's not going to happen
laundry and did some lace knitting while it dried
art essay
call Aunt re: cousin in TX left message, keeping fingers crossed


Whole Foods

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New School Year ...

... New School

Yes, I have a new job. I spent much of the summer looking and finally landed at the Academy of Environmental Sciences Secondary School. My placement was made official today. Yes, I am very happy. Yes, I plan on starting a knitting club just as soon as I get settled and after the Bat Mitzvah. Now I'm going to eat some more leftover birthday pie ...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

And the Youngest Gets Older

Yes, another sappy birthday post. An open letter to my son on his birthday.

Dear Little Squid,

From the moment you entered our lives you filled our days with joy and laughter. From proclaiming "there must be squid around here somewhere," to losing the mitten from the hand holding your lunch box, to all your sweet, heartfelt hugs ... You are loving and kind and talented and oh, so smart.

Along with your sister, you make this family whole.
May this year bring you sunshine and happiness!

Happy Birthday, Little Squid!

(and Happy Birthday, Cousin Squid (pictured above in the arms of Little Squid))

Monday, September 08, 2008

How do You Manage ...

... to be a mother, work away from home, ride your bike, maintain a home and still knit? This question was posed by a loyal reader the other day and I thought I would share my answer with you.

Simply put, I don't cook and I don't clean. Except the kitchen after dinner. I pay someone else to clean my apartment (she does a much better job then I do) and Mike does most of the cooking. I do laundry once a week (usually, this week is an exception) and knit or spin while it is drying.

I bring simple knitting with me everywhere and use it to fill in wait time. Today I started turning a heel while waiting on line at Staples after gathering yet another load of school supplies for Little Squid. I finished it while waiting for Squidette to finish her Bat Mitzvah rehearsal.

That said, I did absolutely no knitting Friday, Saturday or Sunday this past week. Not a stitch. But I did finish warping my loom and wove a few inches. I also spent considerable time preparing for Sunday's bike ride and then spent all day riding on Sunday.

There you have it. Somehow it all gets done but you can see where my priorities lie.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Squid on Wheels -- The New York City Century 2008

Today was the 19th annual New York Century , A century, for those of you not in the know, is a 100 mile bike ride. The New York Century ride features five routes, ranging from 15 to 100 miles. This is the third time that Team Squid has participated in the ride and the furthest that we have ridden. We have now done the 35, 55 and 75 mile portions and no, we will not be doing the 100 next year -- we have an affair to attend that weekend , we'll try to find a different Century to ride -- maybe the Covered Bridges Metric Century in Lancaster.

I'd be lying if I said the ride was perfect. The kids got tired but were determined to finish. We offered to abort several times but they both insisted on continuing. Even after a bike fell on Squidette (she was sitting on the grass at a rest stop and my bike tipped over on her) she kept going.

Injuries were minor -- a branch scratched Little Squid's arm and I have some friction burns where my legs meet my saddle. (There is also some mild sunburn. Even our super duper sunblock can't beat 11 hours in the sun.)

Equipment malfunctions were non existent. 5 bikes (we had a friend riding with us), 10 tires and zero flats. Pretty amazing.

Now we are a bit sore, a tad tired but hey, we did it! 85 miles total including the ride to the subway to get to the start and the ride all the way home.

6:15 a.m. (Notice the new jerseys -- large Squid on the back, of course)Times Square -- about 7:00 a.m.

The Cyclone -- around 11:30 a.m.
The Kissena Park Velodrome (that's Little Squid on the track) -- around 1:00 p.m.
The Finish Line, 79 miles later -- about 5:00 p.m.

Honorary Squid -- He planned on riding the 35, maybe the 55, and stayed with us for the entire 75 (really 79).

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Squid on Wheels -- High Bridge and the Croton Aqueduct

Our intention was to ride at least 40 miles this weekend in preparation for next week. (Don't ask, you'll just call the wrath of Huricane Hannah down on us.) You know what they say about the best laid plans, don't you ... let it sufficce to say that Little Squid got a migraine just before we were supposed to leave on Sunday.

The day was spent, instead, experimenting with headache relieving pressure points (verdict: they kind of work, if only to distract the sufferer for a while) and then shopping for (Mama and Squidette) and then assembling some furniture for Little Squid's room. I also hid the ends on Squidette's shrug. We decided that blocking was a futile endeavor.

Monday dawned bright and sunny and we set out to log at least 20 miles (note, we only achieved 19 due to various frustrations including a water bottle bent on suicide and a flat tire).

We did, however, finally get to High Bridge Park and introduced the kids to the High Bridge water tower and the Croton Aqueduct / High Bridge. The links do a much better job of explaining the important history of this site than I can. To sum it up, the High Bridge / Croton Aqueduct was built in 1848 (making it the oldest surviving bridge in New York City). It had a most important function, destined as it was to carry fresh drinking water into a city plagued with fires and disease. Cholera was a big one back then. The path to the bridge has been renovated and the bridge is now undergoing repair. It is supposed to open, once again, to pedestrian and bike traffic in two or three years. One will then be able to walk / ride the length of the entire Croton trail from the lowest reservoir (42nd Street and 6th Avenue) to the highest (Croton, NY).
High Bridge as seen from the plaza by the water tower.

High Bridge as seen through the hole in the gate that blocks access.

Structure preventing access to the bridge.

The High Bridge Water Tower as seen from the entry to High Bridge.

Mike -- stuck between and rock and ... yup, you guessed it ... a hard place.

Monday, September 01, 2008


After carefully examining the suggested patterns, I decided to go with Icarus, as suggested by Cookie. It is reasonably solid and hence chaste enough to do what I need it to do in synagogue. I'll secure it with a hair stick, most likely so I am not futzing with it during services. One of the drawbacks of being the parent of the Bat Mitzvah girl is that I have to sit facing the congregation -- so everyone will see if I fidget.It is a small rendition of Icarus, only 36 inches on the diagonal and about 32 inches from center back to tip. Yarn is Artyarns Regal Silk, roughly a DK weight, in color 131. I bought 8 skeins and used 3 and a smidge. It took me a month to complete -- mainly because I had to rip it out from a much bigger place and then messed up picking up the stitches ... so I had to go back to the very beginning and restart.

Now I'm debating returning or weaving the rest. If I weave it at 8 epi then I can easily get a 20 inch wide shawl that is 5 feet long ... tempting. But first I have to hide the ends on and block Squidette's shrug. That'll occupy my loom space for a day or two.